Some mornings I feel so heavy I can’t get out of bed. The square footage of my room has not changed but my room feels much smaller. I feel like I’m suffocating but I’m breathing just fine. The thought of brushing my teeth or showering is inconceivable. I am sad. I am exhausted. I am on my way to a place me and one of my closest friends call “Funkytown”.
I come from a happy home. My family is loving and supportive. I have great friends, who are always there when I need them. I’m divorced but I have 3 beautiful children who adore me! I am the anchor for many. People come to me for counsel, encouragement, resources or just for me to listen.
I’m that friend.
I have a heart of gold and a smile that’s contagious. My sense of humor & wit are undeniable. I have a Master’s Degree and plan to pursue my Doctorate. I am also highly respected at my place of employment. On the outside looking in, I’m a well-rounded, educated, single mother who has it all together right?
…not so much.
I am so anxious that I can’t turn my brain off to focus on the simplest tasks. I am literally useless…so I lay and wait. I pray and wait. I cry and wait. I tell myself, “it’s ok”, “you got this”, “just lay here for a little while longer”, “you’re better than this”; “you have to go to work!”
I sleep. I sleep some more. The sun has set, and risen and set again…my job is aware that “I’m not feeling well”.
My mother calls and immediately knows (she always knows) I have taken a trip to Funkytown. Unable to help herself, she asks question after question.
”Are you ok?”
“You sound like you may be having another episode…”
“Do you know what triggered it?”
“Did you eat?”
I just respond, “I’ll be okay, I promise.”
I ignore texts, phone calls and emails from everyone else. I feel ashamed. I feel like a waste of space. I feel weak. I feel empty.
The sun rises and sets once more.
My whole body is sore from laying. I smell myself, I think, but I don’t care.
Then the sun rises again.
I feel a little lighter. “Maybe I can make it to work,” I say to myself. I shower for the first time in a little over 3 days. I feel like I can breathe again. The depression that has oppressed me for 72 hours has decided to lift just as fast as it settled.
I am me again (the me that I love).
I am back from Funkytown,
until my next trip…
I am grateful for my medication. I am grateful for my therapist and I am grateful for family and friends who are aware of my waltz with anxiety and depression. I am grateful that no matter how empty, dark, alone, sad and worthless I feel, it’s temporary. Joy is always just around the corner.
I am most grateful for hope.
Today’s post was written by a guest blogger in honor of National Minority Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 16 million American adults live with major depression, but nearly 60% of adults with mental illness did not seek treatment last year. If you are suffering in silence, please know that you are not alone. There is light in darkness. Help is available. For more information, please call 1-800-950-6264.